Many of us lust after Jourdan Dunn's perfectly articulated arches or Gigi Hadid's full, feathery set, but duplicating these supermodels' brow blueprints doesn't always produce flattering results. "Women tend to imagine what brow shape they want to create—instead of having a good look at their face structure," says makeup artist Nigel Stanislaus. Here, how to avoid some of the biggest brow blunders and make the most of what you got.More
The fix: Bold, feathery brows are in, but unkempt is an adjective you never want associated with your arches. If your brow hairs are extending every which way, you need a game plan for controlling them.
And it's not what you'd expect. "You may think that the best way to tame unruly brows is to trim them into shape, and while you're not completely wrong, you're also not completely right," says makeup artist William Scott. "You want to use the hairs' length to your advantage. The shorter the brow hair, the harder it is to manipulate because it wants to stick up straight and out of the brow; the longer the hair, the more leverage you have."
If your arches do need a trim, the pro suggests brushing your brows up towards the top of your ear with a spooly and cutting juuust the tips off the long hairs using a "chipping" technique (i.e., pointing the scissors down, not parallel to the brow). "This gives trimmed brows a natural look, because none of the hairs are exactly the same length," Scott says.
As a finishing touch, mist a spoolie (like the one found on the end of Maybelline New York's Eyestudio Brow Precise Shaping Pencil) with hairspray and brush it through brows—directing the hairs up for a lifted look. Need something with more staying power? Reach for Maybelline New York Eyestudio Brow Drama, a tinted sculpting gel that offers hold and a hint of color minus any stiffness.
The fix: Brows should make an impact and frame your features, but filling them in coloring book-style can lead to arches that are more Groucho Marx than glamorous. A light hand and short strokes with a freshly sharpened pencil make a world of difference in terms of the drama level, but using the right color is also key. Makeup artist Nigel Stanislaus suggests opting for a hue that's slightly lighter than your strands. (For example, if your hair is espresso-hued, try soft brown.)
To put your product to the test, apply near a window in natural daylight to see the true color payoff. Then, start at the tail end and work your way in toward the bridge of your nose. "The tail can have a stronger pigment finish, but as you get to the middle of your face, the pigmentation should be soft—almost like a gradient brow," he says. Use a spooly or Q-tip to diffuse the pigment and prevent any harsh lines.